Academic Session 8: RCA 2014

40th Anniversary Conference & Bookfair
Royal College of Art, London
10 - 12 April 2014

Colour Me Queer

Session Convenors:

Natasha Bissonauth Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Alpesh Kantilal Patel Florida International University, Miami

Art history has adopted a queer postcolonial gaze that has challenged canon formation. And yet, with some notable exceptions such as Kobena Mercer and Amelia Jones, most ground-breaking scholarship on art and visual culture, which unpack queer racialized perspectives, has been achieved outside the confines of the discipline. Thus, as an assemblage of academics across disciplines, this session aims to develop a shared vocabulary and methodology around art and visual culture that speaks to transnational, diasporic, indigenous and decolonial bodies alongside their gendered and sexualized realities. Beyond representing identity politics of difference or generating visibility for marginalized art forms, Colour Me Queer1 visually interrogates the epistemological limits of categories such as race, gender and sexuality, and most critically, visually interrogates the limits of their intersections as well. Papers will not only assess how queer racialized methodologies broaden art history but correspondingly, how visual analysis informs queer racialized realms as well. Through various themes and tropes like circulation, affect, neologisms, materiality and popular culture, panelists will map out renewed encounters with their objects of analyses. Ultimately, Colour Me Queer considers the stakes involved in inciting a transdisciplinary conversation around queer of colour visualities.

1 This session’s title derives from a NYC-based fundraiser party named ‘Color me Queer’ co-organized by the South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association (SALGA) and the Audre Lorde Porject (ALP). This event has usually been one of the only progressive spaces for queer people of color to congregate with like-minded peers and friends during Pride weekend in NYC.


Anne Ring Petersen (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) Rethinking Identity as Queer Identification

Jenny Lin (University of Oregon, USA) Non-Spaces of Cultural Collision: Queering Identity in Art in Global China

Josh T. Franco (Binghamton University, State University of New York, USA) He Came on my Canv-ass: Queerness in the Work of Joshua Saunders

Jane Chin Davidson (California State University, San Bernardino, USA) The Trans of the Intellectual’s Fetish

Daniel J. Sander (New York University, USA) Between the Ground and the Sky

Crystal Nelson (University of California, Santa Cruz, USA) “We Ain’t Gotta Be This:” Queering Sites of Blackness, an Aesthetic Approach

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